Thursday, September 01, 2016

Battle of the Sexes: Guide to the Fantasy Challenge

Back in the day, had a "fantasy" game hooked up to Real World/Road Rules Challenge. It was the basis of the first story I wrote for Reality News Online, when Battle Of The Seasons was airing (and which I'll try to retrieve down the road). The game added a new dimension to the show, and I played along, trying to get a high score.

Article Published: January 6, 2003

You don't just have to watch Real World/Road Rules: Battle of the Sexes - you can even be in on some of the action by playing the Fantasy Challenge on! Jason is here to tell you how it works who would be the best bets to put on your team. For example, how many points for the hug?
Why would anybody want to watch Real World/Road Rules Challenge: Battle of the Sexes? Could it be for the intense action? To ogle Jonny Moseley, the sleepy-eyed host? To watch characters who will make you beg for Flo from The Amazing Race 3? Or would it be to win prizes and earn bragging rights among your peers?

Last year, introduced the Fantasy Challenge to coincide with Battle of the Seasons. I had so much fun with it, I wrote about it for RealityNewsOnline, my very first article for the site. So I figured I'd walk you through the game, and send you on the way to a brand new obsession.
The format hasn't changed much from last year: you pick six people from the show, three male and three female. Before each episode, you choose four of your chosen Challengers, keeping two on the bench. Those four earn points based on their actions, points that go to you. However, you don't get points earned by your benched players. Before an episode airs, you can swap your benched players for your starters.

To make things more interesting, you're allowed to make six trades, replacing booted Challengers and those not getting you the points. As the show progresses, the number of Challengers dwindles, so the key is to make sure your roster is stocked with people still on the show. In order to tease visitors into playing, won't be counting points until January 13, meaning that you can adjust the lineup as often as you'd like before then.

Here are the categories, along with Challengers who could bring home the big points for you:

Crying (5 points)

Most of these people are out-and-out drama majors already, and some has squirted tears in past seasons, so it's tough to tell who the biggest crier will be. Aside for those who got teary during the preview special - Ellen (RR: The Quest), Anne (RR: Northern Trail), and Puck (RW: San Francisco) - I'm thinking that Ayanna (RR: Semester at Sea), Tonya (RW: Chicago), and Aneesa (RW: Chicago) would make with the waterworks. Also, David B. (RW: New Orleans) has been known to shed a single tear now and then.

Fighting/Tantrums (10)

We already know about Melissa vs. Julie (both RW: New Orleans), Puck vs. Ellen, and Puck vs. David E. (RW: Los Angeles). While Ayanna looked mellow in her present-day segments, she has been known to explode. Emily (RR: Season Two) has been P.O.'ed by the likes of Julie and Holly in past Challenges. Her boyfriend James (RR: Maximum Velocity Tour) is also a loose cannon; in his last Challenge, he picked a fight with Syrus (RW: Boston), who was much bigger than him. David B. found himself in a lot of verbal battles during his season.

Hugs and Kisses (5)
Hooking Up/Making Out (20)

Hooking up refers to more intense interaction. We've seen Emily and James get some snuggle time in the preview, as did David B. and Ayanna. Whether that escalates into hooking up isn't evident. I wouldn't put it past David to get the 20 points, having once gone to bed with a woman whose name he didn't learn. Oh, and he did that while Matt (the pious virgin) was trapped in the bedroom. Jisela (RR: The Quest) is notorious for deep kisses. Even if she keeps things friendly, she could rack up points in bunches of five. If Melissa is still friendly with Jamie (RW: New Orleans), expect a lot of hugs between those two. I wouldn't count on Lori (RW: Back to New York) or Blair (RR: The Quest) for hooking up, since their significant others (Kyle and Kendall, respectively) are not in Jamaica. Also, beware of teasers. Last year, there were a few clips of Theo and Coral getting cuddly, but it was never shown in the episodes.

Nudity (15)

Can we think of nudity without conjuring up images of Aneesa (RW: Chicago), who was really comfortable with her body? Ditto with Ruthie (RW: Hawaii), who went skinny-dipping with Teck in the first episode of her season. In their pre-show analysis, Mike and Coral said that Blair would get naked often. I'd be surprised if James gets naked in front of the cameras once again, having done so after losing a bubble-blowing bet to Dan (RW: Miami) during Extreme Challenge. Same for Melissa, whose brief excursion into topless dancing has been blown out of proportion, including getting voted as the third most memorable moment in the show's history.

Getting Bleeped (3)

Anybody can fit the bill here. Seriously, there will be a lot of bleeps in every episode. You just have to hope that your players will make with the potty-mouth as often as possible.

Trash-Talking (5)
Gossiping/Bad-Mouthing (5)

Trash talking applies to competition only. Once again, anybody on this show can talk smack about others. Beth (RW: Los Angeles) did a lot of ranking in one episode last year before she got the boot. Julie was a poor sport in the latter half of Extreme Challenge, especially with Emily. If anybody has anything nice to say about Puck and vice versa, I will be surprised.

Pep Talk (5)

I would never have thought of Laterrian (RR: Maximum Velocity Tour) before watching the preview, but his shouts of "HOO-RAH!" and "RIDE OR F*****G DIE!" make him perfect for this category. Rachel (RR: Campus Crawl) was also seen rallying the troops. While they're a couple, Emily and James are alpha enough to try and fire up their teammates.

Getting Injured (10)

Even before watching the preview, I thought of Anne as a prime candidate for getting hurt. She's injured herself in her season and in the first Challenge. I don't think she'd get injured on account of looking like Nancy Kerrigan while there's a blonde named "Tonya" around, but you never know on this show. Amaya (RW: Hawaii) found all sorts of ways to get hurt during Challenge 2000. Beth sprained herself during the first episode of her first Challenge. I don't see Tonya getting hurt, unless she has a kidney stone relapse.

Refusal to Participate (10)

What does Melissa have in common with fellow cast member Danny? Aside from being the most warmly received people from their season, both have been known to wuss out from time to time. Melissa is the anti-RR girl, and I can see her balking out of at least one event if she can get away with it. This category doesn't cover lack of participation, so Gladys (RR: Latin America) being unable to compete in one event might not get you the ten points.

Flashback (5)

Sadly, Stephen isn't here this year, giving the editors the any opportunity to run his "Slap Heard 'Round the World" to Irene over and over. If Bunim-Murray Productions had a Christmas special, they'd show that. "Look, Mommy! Teacher says every time Stephen slaps Irene, an angel gets its wings!" Gladys' pummeling of Abe ("The Beating Heard 'Round Latin America"?) will be run at least once. Puck is supposed to be the most memorable RW person, so his past antics will be shown a lot. Last year, Jisela's ouster from The Quest was replayed, and it might show up again. If David B. doesn't sing "Come On Be My Baby Tonight" in Jamaica, the editors will dig up a clip.

Bodily Function (10)

I've heard somebody call Puck a bodily function, and I agree. Heck, included "Snot-Rocketing" in the description, a term coined by him. After the "Freshman 15" and UTEP ordeals, Eric J., Shane and Rachel (all RR: Campus Crawl) probably can hold their cookies better than anybody.

Foul Play (10)

James is so aggressive, that he'll do anything to win. In Extreme Challenge, believing his team to be slighted during a paintball game, he shot Julie after the fact, leading Syrus to almost pound him into kibble. Julie has also been known to break the rules during the same Challenge. And I don't expect Puck to remain kosher during his stay in Jamaica.

Buzz Word (10)

This is where things get wild. On the day after an episode, will reveal a word that was said by one or more cast members. If you have somebody on your roster that says the word once, you get ten points. Twice? Twenty points. Either you get lucky or frustrated with this category.

Competition Score (varies)

For every point a player earns, you receive the same amount. The problem is, if a high-scorer doesn't stir up drama, your overall score suffers. But if you need a buff stud or babe to place high on a consistent basis, look for Laterrian, Jamie, Colin (RW: Hawaii), Ellen and Emily to help you out. Don't expect competition points from Jisela, especially if there's rope or suspension involved. And not only is Beth not much of a gamer, she might not be around long enough

I hope this helps you out. So, whom did I pick for the game? Since I refused to pick Puck, I might be shooting myself in the foot. But I'm sure my roster will bring home the big points.

Melissa: She's a sentimental choice, my favorite from her season. Even though she's not a physical threat, she's very feisty, and can drum up drama-related points.

Ellen: Yes, I hate her, but not enough to exclude her from my roster. She will score high in competition, and make enough people hate her guts in the process.

Emily: Like Ellen, she's a gamer. She also gravitates towards drama, even if she doesn't start it (remember Chadwick labeling her as the devil?) Also, she fits in nicely with…

James: Dude! At the very least, I'll score double on the hug & kiss points. He's also an intense competitor, willing to run over anybody to stay in the game.

Laterrian: After getting short-changed during Extreme Challenge (getting a share of $40,000 and a gavel from Mills Lane), LT is out for the win. If he's the leader of men as seen in the preview, he'll stay until the very end.

David B.: In his season, he was the Ego That Walked Like a Man, paying little heed to what his housemates thought of him. Even with education in the real world (note the smaller case), his arrogance couldn't have completely dissipated in the past few years. Once his romance with Ayanna comes up, I'll pick her up for my roster.

Why go through any of this? The top scorers each week get prizes, ranging from scooters to watches to copies of The Real World Las Vegas: Confessions from Sin City. The top scorer at the end of the season wins a Saturn ION 3 quad coupe. If you screw up, don't worry: with 23,409 different starters combinations and 5,992,704 total combos, it's understandable to place in the bottom percentiles. Good luck!

I didn't go week-by-week recaps of my game, though I did make references from time to time. I think I tweaked my lineup before the third episode. With the sextet I presented, one-third of that would be gone within three weeks. I like to think I did okay, though I never won a weekly prize.

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